Excellent Draw in NCCL

Ilford A v Barking A 30 January 2023.
North Circular Chess League   Divisions A , 6 board match, G80 + 10
Toss won by Barking- White on odd boards.
Jef Page, captain.

1927      TOM BARTON 0-1  JEFF GOLDBERG 2144 w
1537   sub M FAHEEM  0-1 ROMAN ISMAILOV 2005 b
1688           JEF PAGE 0-1  PETER JASZKIWSKJ 1978
1561       TAHA UNDRE 1-0  IGOR NAUMOV 1840  
1600     DANIEL LOWE 1-0  STEVE BERKLEY 1785                                                            

An excellent draw for Ilford considering we were missing some regular players and we were slaughtered by Barking 5-1 in their home match. A match of two halves- literally. I think it’s unfair as normally I wouldn’t get out of bed unless I play at least a 2000! Neville Twitchell was supposed to play on board 2 but with the M11 closed he never made it to Ilford in time though at least he arrived at the Club but after having been substituted.

Faheem offered to play immediately but being 40 minutes down on the clock saw him scrambling to make up time. Roman quickly got a grip on the opening to win pawns and the Rook & pawns ending was never in doubt. But even before that Berkeley had made a horrible mistake leaving a Rook en prise, Daniel quickly picked it off and Steve resigned. Adhar set up a very strong pawn chain that completely blocked in Ramage’s pieces and with Colin unable to break out- his R, Knight & Bishop never got into the game at all- Adhar opened up the KR file to threaten an unstoppable Queen & R mate. And to complete the triumvirate Taha looked to be losing as Igor dominated the middle game with Q & R to win pawns but Taha took his chance and invaded with his Q & R to settle the issue. So we were 3-1 up but couldn’t quite hold the top boards. I lost a pawn in a Queen’s Gambit Declined and although I made it hard for Peter I couldn’t generate a strong enough counter-attack as his R’s and KN commanded the open c file & he came up with a winning, threatening, N fork. 

The last game to finish, Tom and Jeff on board 1, have played many times against each other so they know each other’s style well. Tom elected to go back to his favourite Leningrad Dutch Defence which has served him well but Jeff wiped out Tom’s Q-side pawns, after having sac’d a B for 2 pawns, and the connected soldiers marched down the board backed up by a Rook.

An excellent and surprising result for us- the grade difference was around 270 in Barking’s favour- a massive advantage- as we are bottom of the strong NCCL division A table. But at least with a match point we are now on the score board.


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